More great news on the housing front:
WSJ: About 75.5 million U.S. households own the homes they live in. After a housing slump that has pushed values down 30% in some areas, roughly 12 million households, or 16%, owe more than their homes are worth, according to Moody’s Economy.com.
The comparable figures were roughly 4% under water in 2006 and 6% last year, says the firm’s chief economist, Mark Zandi, who adds that “it is very possible that there will ultimately be more homeowners under water in this period than any time in our history.”
Among people who bought within the past five years, it’s worse: 29% are under water on their mortgages, according to an estimate by real-estate Web site Zillow.com.
And another fun fact:
Among mortgages on one- to four-family homes, 9.16% were a month or more overdue or were in foreclosure in the second quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. That compared with 6.52% a year before and was the highest level since the association began such surveys 39 years ago.
But keep things in perspective:
In contrast with the 12 million home borrowers estimated to be under water, 64 million have equity in their homes. These include 24 million households who own their homes free and clear, and 40 million whose homes remain worth more than is owed on them.